Tracks - One of the very Best Outdoor Adventure Movies

5 Outdoor Adventure Movies You Should Actually Watch

In the past few months, I have spent many hours trawling through YouTube looking for inspiration and the best Outdoor Adventure Movies. While I tend to prefer documentaries nowadays, I still appreciate outdoor movies and how they continue to inspire (and sometimes instigate) my own outdoor adventures.

5 Inspiring Outdoor Adventure Movies Worth Watching

In fact, the first time I watched “The Beach” with Leanardo Di Caprio was the very same night I decided to travel the world. At the same time, I find there are not so many movies which capture the essence of travel in the same way as that particular movie. Similarly, this is the reason I rarely stumble across worthy candidates for the best outdoor adventure movies. With this in mind, here are some outdoor adventure movies you should actually watch and why I think you should watch them:


1. Tracks (2013) – Robyn Davidson Walks Across Austrailia

In 1975, Robyn Davidson began walking 1,700 miles across Australia with four camels and her dog. From Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, this is a truly one of the epic outdoor adventure movies and one which really surprised me. As someone who takes quite a number of long-distance solo adventures, I can relate to Davidson’s yearning for solitude. However, absolutely anyone should appreciate the cinematic experience and the way this amazing story was recounted.

Why I think people should watch Tracks – There was no internet in 1975 and literally no inspiration to compel an individual to take an adventure of this kind. The movie, story, and journey are also touching in every regard. However, as with WILD above, I feel that this story breaks down a lot of barriers related to solo female travel and provided a very clear message for what can be achieved through determination alone.


2. The Edge (1997) – Three Men Are Stranded in Alaskan Wilderness

Following a plane crash in the middle of an Alaskan Wilderness, three men are stranded and without hope of a search rescue. However, Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) has an eidetic memory and recalls numerous survival techniques to aid his party in their time of misfortune.

Why I think people should watch The Edge – The Edge is cheesy in many ways and I was surprised to learn that it was filmed in the 1990’s rather than the 1980’s. While a little lacking in terms of depth and storyline, the movie perfectly captures the importance of staying calm in a survival scenario.


3. Wild (2014) – Cheryl Strayed Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail

While the book and author of this particular movie have been on the receiving end of much criticism and hate, each of them is extremely successful. Following novice hiker, Cheryl Strayed, the movie depicts an emotional story as the hiker navigates the extremities involved with hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Flipping back and forth between the trail and the hikers past, Wild is as much a story about hope rather just the outdoor adventure at hand.

Why I think people should watch WILD – In spite of what seems to be a common opinion from thru-hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail, WILD successfully tackles the reason “Why”. That is to say; WILD is not just about what happens on an outdoor adventure but also the internal struggle which everyone goes through in their own way, at some point in life.


4. Into the Wild – Chris McCandless Treks into an Alaskan Wilderness

When Christopher McCandless walked into the Wild more than twenty years ago, nobody could have predicted the incredible reach of his story. In fact, it is still one of the most common topics of discussion for outdoor adventurers today. In short, the first part of the movie is a “coming of age” period which begins with a college graduates disillusion for life before following him on a series of outdoor adventures. In the second part, the movie follows McCandless into an Alaskan Wilderness where he intends to “Live in the wild”.

Why I think people should watch Into the Wild – Unfortunately, the movie fails to portray the book and is severely lacking in terms of the full story and what motivated the subject’s journey. However, this is still an engrossing insight into a very real outdoor adventure and as outlined in the movie; how “happiness is only real once shared”.


5. North Face (2008) – True Story About Two Men Climbing the Eiger

An incredible true story about a race between climbing teams (nations) to summit the famous Eiger Mountain in the Alps via the north face. Following two German climbers, the movie is poignant and set during a time when Nazi propaganda was reaching a climax.

Why I think people should watch the North Face – This is an incredible true story about two hopeful climbers who were willing to battle against all odds to do what they truly love to do. With that aside, the cinematics are impressive and the backdrop of the story (Nazi Germany) is fairly engrossing.


What did you think of these movies? What am I missing? Please let me know in the comments below!

Published by

Derek Cullen

Derek Cullen is an Irish Adventurer and the author of Microadventureworld. He is best known for taking long distance adventures around the world such as cycling across Africa and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in America. In recent years, Derek was nominated for People of the Year by Outsider Magazine and has featured on popular media channels including the Irish Times, Today FM, RTE and Africa Geographic.

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